Winter Ethical & Minimalist Clean Beauty Guide

Since I started my voyage into zero waste living I sought for ways to incorporate it into most aspects of my life. Naturally this includes beauty. While there are many DIYs and tutorials you could choose from, not everybody will lean towards that route. I wanted to create a guide (or gift guide, hello December!) with ethical and clean ingredient products with minimal impact on the earth. 
An excellent piece I recently read by LITTERLESS  Progress, not Perfection” echoes this point – don’t fight or struggle for perfection. Others can define “Zero-waste” in their own interpretation with the goal of minimizing their trash. While I believe we should reduce our trash & recycle less – I also recognize that everyone’s transition is different. We are all on our own paths and I personally choose to support companies making the effort to create sustainable choices in their products. 
It took me a good while, but striving to find a happy medium I compiled a beauty assembly that is sustainable/organic ingredients based, several of these are multi-tasking (lip/cheek stain), involve packaging that can be recycled or upcycled and all of these clean beauty treasures with companies providing sustainable practices. I will end up using these products well into 2017 before i need to make any new purchased. Make investments in well-made and ethical products and it’ll pay off! Do you have any zero waste beauty items you like? Let me know!


Axiology Lipstick in Bad & (c/o) Elusive (V/GF) | These lipsticks are hands down the goldmine of cruelty free lipstick. Free of palm-oil and full of botanical ingredients like avocado oil, elderberry, and neem seed oil. Axiology’s principles to use pure plant based creations without the use of harsh chemicals, toxins, and sourcing organic whenever possible. 
Bad is a matte chestnut 90’s brown and Elusive is a dreamy true brick red. They go on smooth and nourish and heal. Axiology doesn’t use synthetics dyes and chose to go with mineral pigments. These are truly high quality investments.

WasteWhen you order off Axiology they do come with sample that are in plastic cases so let them know you’d like to omit the samples – stick the full products. Axiology lipstick packaging are not made of plastic and it can be recycled. Although I didn’t snap the paper packaging that the lipsticks come in, Axiology’s outer packaging is collected from an island and is taken to a small factory where goes from trash to recycled packaging. Sweet!


Pacifica Natural Eyeliner in Jet (V/GF) | I was using liquid eyeliner prior to discovering Pacifica’s eye pencils. Though the liquid eyeliner’s plastic cover was recyclable I thought there were better options. Pacifica’s eyeliners are vegan, gluten free and formulated with jojoba oil, shea butter for senesitve skin. The color glides on smoothly and I

Waste: The plastic cover on the pencil generates some waste. However the packaging it comes with is completely recyclable. Company-wise, Pacifica aims to have a zero waste in their manufacturing, they recycles and use post-consumer materials.
Pacifica Mystical Supernatural Eye Shadow Palette (V/GF) | These luscious vegan palettes are made with coconut, ginseng, and kelp extracts.  I love that these are botanical based and come in a variety of colors – although I also own Power of Love, the Supernatural packet has the best winter colors.
Waste: A representative for Pacifica told me that the eye shadow palettes are also recyclable. Simply remove the aluminum tin that holds the shadows themselves then put the palette in your recycling bin for safe disposal. The outer packaging is recyclable as well.
Pacifica 7 Free Nail Polish (V/GF) in London Tomboy & Luxe Interior | What is 7-Free? These nail polishes are made without parabens, phthalates (dibutyl phthalate), toluene, xylene, camphor, formaldehyde, resin, and animals. I love the emerald color and that these polishes are very matte and lasted quite a long time than other non toxic nail polishes I’ve used. (I don’t use top coats or any other primer). These nail polishes contain vegan brush applicators as well.
Waste: Conventional nail polishes contain chemicals that are bad for the environment. Pacifica’s brand omits these but imagine how many generic nail polishes get trashed? Imagine those nail polish chemicals making their way into water systems or released into the air via incinerators. The US EPA considers nail polish to be household hazardous waste. So what to do? Check out Earth 911’s guide on properly disposing and recycling your nail polishes when they have run out. In the meantime I stick to 2-3 nail polishes per season. After than I rotate and only support recyclable and earth-friendly brands.
Fat & The Moon Dusk Lip Paint  (GF) c/o | Made up sunflower oil, beeswax, and minerals this is a hazy mauve medium-pink that can be used on the cheeks as well.
Fat & The Moon Hecate Lip Paint – (GF) c/o | Made with the same ingredients as Dusk this is a dark brick-wine color that is a semi-matte to full matte depending on how much you apply.
Fat & The Moon Eye Coal (GF) c/o | to round out the dreamy and intense color spectrum of Fat & The Moon, the pure midnight black eye coal is the non-vegan (contains beeswax) answer to clean beauty eyeliner. Since its in pot form, you can use an eyeliner brush (I recommend Eco-Tools) or clean fingers to smudge. Skip any cotton q-tips, these are smooth thanks to the sunflower oil and only contain ingredients found in nature.
Waste: Since these Fat & the Moon products come in tins you can upcycle them. The company create small batched organic & farm grown ingredients while aiming to use little to no plastic and packaging is set up to be recycled or reused.

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Plant Based Mushroom Bolognese with Banza Pasta | Vegan & Gluten Free

Now that it is winter, I wanted create a warming, rich delicious pasta dish. I went to the farmers market and on intuition picked several items that I wanted to used, including the cutest plump kumatos and oyster mushrooms. Kumatos are beautiful brown-red tomatoes that are incredibly sweet and burst will flavor you can eat them as is if you desired.

Cooking, for me, has become a type of therapeutic activity. When I step into the kitchen i remove myself from anything on my mind and devote myself completely to culinary alchemy. It might sound a little odd but I believe in positive intention and as my mother says: Its an experience, learn from your steps. Heeding her advice, I think its best to do things mindfully – simple acts like enjoying the season and what it has to offer.

This recipe was made for my mother in mind. She loves the addition of wine in cooking but I wanted to make a completely plant based dish full of nutrients and flavor. There in mind came a bolognese sauce which I know she enjoys. For this dish I made my own tomato sauce based and oh-my-gosh making your own tomato sauce is infinitely better than the store brought. I also mixed in some lightly sautéed oyster mushrooms to give it texture and “meatiness.” This decadently tasting and make sure get a good red wine because it adds so much distinct flavor.

Banza is an amazing chickpea-based pasta that has a taste similar to wheat except it is completely gluten free. Its has bite and fares favorably well when it comes to nutrition on its own (14 grams of protein, 8 grams of fiber & half the carbs of regular pasta, GMO-free and it’s vegan) The pasta was also named one of Time Magazines 25 Best Inventions of 2015. Feel free to check out their shop for a variety of styles although the pasta is beginning to show up in more natural food stores which is great! I love the flavor of the pasta and that it holds up so well. I have a few more recipes in the works using this amazing brand. Follow Banza on Twitter & Instagram!

Ingredients
1/2 cup diced yellow onion
1/2 cup diced carrots
1/2 cup chopped mushroom of choice (I used baby bella)
1/2 cup chopped eggplant
3/4 cup of chopped organic kumato, or a cherry/grape tomato or diced tomato
1/2 cup of organic red wine like Pinot Noir
2 cloves of garlic
2 sprigs of rosemary, remove from stems and finely chop the leave
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4th cup pasta water, water or no sodium veggie broth
olive oil
pink salt
pinch of white or black pepper
oyster mushrooms
Banza Pasta

  • To save time and speed clean up chop up all veggies and place them on a cutting board or plate
  • Heat a saucepan or dutch oven on medium heat and add olive oil, add the diced yellow onion and a pinch of salt and pepper and then add the mushrooms
  • Cook until onion and mushrooms have lightly brown and softened
  • Add a tablespoon of olive oil to the pan then add 3/4 cup of chopped kumato or tomato of of choice, eggplant, carrot and mince the garlic, rosemary and dried oregano, extra pinch of salt and pepper
  • Continue cooking on medium heat until the all the veggies soften, stir and add a little more olive oil if needed, about 15-20 minutes 
  • Remove veggies from saucepan, transfer to a blender and pulse but dont overdo it, you want a little texture but make sure veggies get processed. Taste to to see if you need more salt, pepper, or want to puree it more
  • In another pot, begin cooking the Banza pasta (I used Rotini) or pasta of choice, cook according to the box instructions and drain.
  • Meanwhile in the saucepan, add the red wine with the heat turned up to medium high, you want the red wine to reduce by half. This can take up to 10 minutes. After the wine has reduced, lower to medium low heat and add the veggie sauce you blended back into the saucepan and 1/4 cup of water or veggie broth. Stir while it simmers for about 10-15 minutes. 
  • This is optional but after I finished the sauce, I chopped several oyster mushrooms and lightly cooked them over medium heat with olive oil and salt + pepper
  • Add the pasta to a serving dish and ladle the sauce. Serve accordingly, and top with the cooked oyster mushrooms

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Winter reflections; New Year Manifestations

Happy New Year! I for one could not be more refreshed and content that we have made it through another cycle, entered winter, and I feel really energized to start a new chapter.

I want to spend my days  living consciously, spend them creating and discovering what makes me happy. Even if you don’t think its possible or in your reach I encourage you to to spend your time in the pursuit of what makes you feel alive, safe, driven. Spend your moments as you wish to remember them. Even you find yourself alone, be your own company & fall ridiculously in love with yourself. Years from now I want to reflect and find that I spent my days living, saying “no to doubt” and “yes” to self-care and nourishment as well as discovering freedom in going forward.

While I do have “goals” for this new year, and that can be a controversial concept for some, I watched this wonderful video by Lauren Toyota (also a vegan cook for Hot For Food) about manifesting, visualizing & ultimately what I took from it: carving out what you want for yourself. Please check it out! I am sharing here what my own 2016 Manifestations are. Perhaps they can be seen as goals but I liken them more to mental seeds or moldboards we create

2016 Manifestations
Create
Adventure always
Cultivate good genuine friendships & camaraderie
Worry Less
Wake up each morning & read for a while
Continually declutter-donate
Believe + encourage yourself
Be more mindful
(Try) to meditate
Get in Nature, imbibe it
Do something that scares you
SMILE. Embrace freckles.
(eventually) wake up at dawn.
Help animals
Follow your bliss
Disconnect, recharge when needed
Try to bring out the best in people.

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Embracing the Wild; Winter Begins.

This year has taught me who I am and what I want to pursue. I spent the better part of this year wondering & discovering what made me feel alive & what I really wanted to be doing: raise awareness about the environment and animal welfare, to develop genuine friendships, being of use to others, learning the science, alchemy and folklore of health, encouraging others to pursue their own passions. You can remain dormant; sleeping for only so long. I was born a warrior, wild by heart and dreamer by nature.

I think about wolves in the wild who have had their land taken away, their numbers diminished. Elephants who happy to be very emotional creatures but are rescued since their lives hang in the balance as they are viciously hunted for parts of their anatomy. I think of forests that should bloom and serve as a sanctuary for many different species and the determined people who fight to keep them protected. Sustainable farmers who get sued by bigger unethical corporations on the basis of money, not quality. I think about people who were not given the opportunity to get an education. I think about how close in proximity we are to one another, physically and technologically and how we can help ourselves and the environment survive & thrive.

Winter is frigid & cold; a time of repose and reflection. This New Years Eve I will look back at all these lessons I have learned & at my accomplishments. I will make cider, cook a small plant-based feast and light candles to illuminate the dark as I look inward. I will move forward to pursue my own dreams disguised as goals, raising awareness to embrace the wild. Go for a walk in the forest if you are lucky enough to live near one. Visit a farmers market and get to know the people behind your sustenance, if you are blessed to have an animal companion – cherish your time with them, avoid products that test on animals, volunteer somewhere, anywhere!

Have experiences. This year has shown me that life will go on with or without you so don’t let  “time” slip by: pursue what makes your heart sing, create memories, become your own source of inspiration and cherish what you do have, instead of believing you are unfulfilled. Make others, especially nature and it’s creatures happy, but most importantly do whatever makes you happy and feel “alive”

breakfast
fox painting in progress.
baby puppy
paper wolves.
treasures.

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do….Sail away from the safe harbor. Explore. Dream. Discover.”